This will be a short one, but the information will take a while for you to practice. This is a little technique that gives you more sounds over the half-diminished (or min7b5) chord. If you refer back to the earlier lessons you will notice how I have covered topics that all relate to each other. Here is another one. Up till now, the only scale choice I have discussed for this chord has been Locrian. It has been a useful chord, but it only takes you to the first level: the I chord (see lesson 2 for an explanation of this concept). This next scale takes you all the way to the level of the V - the most harmonically rich level.

Follw me here: The min7b5 is based on the vii of the major scale. Therefore, all scale choices within the major scale's key should work pretty well. Let's forget all but the V, or the mixolydian. A C mixolydian should work over the Emi7b5. (If that is confusing, just take a minute and think about it). Taken a step further, the C bebop dominant should be extremely effective over the Emi7b5 chord. With that in mind, go back to all the Bebop licks you worked out from my past lesson (you DID practice, didn't you?), and use them over the corresponding mi7b5 chords!

If you're stuck, here's a way to think about it: Over a mi7b5 chord, use a Bebop Dominant scale whose root is a MAJOR 3RD below. Try it...and please let me know how it works!


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Good jazz is like good coffee: it’s smooth, rich and lingers fragrantly in a room. The best jazz musicians are expert improvisers with years of experience – but you only need to take a few jazz guitar lessons from guitar guru Nick Minnion to play some sensational sounds